Category Archives: Lebanon

The General Security Adding More Confusion To The Renewed By Hand Passports

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passport via Annahar

First they released a memo that all those who have old renewed passports or passports that include accompanied individuals such as children need to get new passports before the 10th of January, after which they will no longer be considered valid on departure.

Second and after everyone freaked out and spent hours trying to get a new passport, they re-assure us that the General Security will not reimburse for the cost of new passports, and that The International Aviation Organization is not accepting passports that have been renewed by hand anymore.

Third and last, they just released a memo that these same (invalid) passports won’t be confiscated after the 10th of February and that they will never resort to confiscating passports.

I’m lost but I won’t be taking any chances with them. I’m getting a new passport in the next couple of weeks, hopefully for 5 years because some people told me they were unable to renew for more than 1 year.

Elie Iskandar Is Good, Really Good!

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iskandar

Elie is a Lebanese voice actor, Art/creative Director, character animator/designer, audio producer, writer and multimedia polymath. He’s the guy who was trying to sell his car in an epic way few months back and he just released a new video where he’s impersonating the voices of several Hollywood celebrities and cartoon characters. To name few, Eddie Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Sylvester Stallone, Bane, Batman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Yoda, Smeagol, Obama, Liam Neeson, Marlon Brando, Pickle, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Yogi Bear, Scooby Doo, Mr. Burns and his old neighbor lol!

This guy is super talented. Check him out!

[YouTube]

We Finally Have A Kickass Tourism Video In Lebanon

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Ever since I started writing on the blog, I’ve been criticizing most of the Ministry of Tourism videos and campaigns because they were bad, but things have improved drastically ever since the LiveLoveLebanon campaign was launched and the below 5-minute video is one of the best tourism videos, if not the best, we’ve had in Lebanon in the past 10 years!

Lebanon looks absolutely breathtaking in this unprecedented aerial footage. You will see the Phoenician Tyr port, Saida’s sea castle, the authentic Shouf, the heart of Beirut, the shores of Jbeil and Batroun, Keserwan’s stunning nature, Tripoli, Baalbeck, the majestic Cedars and others in this amazing video.

The whole thing is just perfect and makes you proud to be Lebanese.

Rise Above Lebanon

Lebanon like you've never seen it before. Unless you're a bird.A breathtaking video by Rise Above Lebanon

Posted by Live Love Lebanon on Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thumbs up to the Ministry of Tourism, the team behind LiveLoveLebanon and RiseAboveLebanon!

beirut

bekaa

sea

deir

#ThisisLebanon

Posted By :

leb1

A much needed reminder of how beautiful our country is. Given how bad the situation we are in, we need such videos almost every day now 😀

#thisislebanon

Next time someone asks where you're from, tell them #thisislebanon!(Settings: HD viewing recommended)

Posted by Littletree on Sunday, January 31, 2016

Via LittleTree

leb2

Asking The Wrong Questions

Posted By :

tripo

MTV shared yesterday a chart that showed the Ministry of Public Works spending by area, in order to “prove” that Christians areas are barely receiving 18% of the total expenditure. They picked cities that have a Shiite majority (Baalbeck, Hermel, Nabatieh, Bent Jbeil) and compared them to areas of Christian majority like Matn, Jbeil, Jezzine, Zahle and Bcharreh.

I am not really sure what they were trying to prove, but they failed miserably because what matters here is how this money is being spent and not in which area. I currently live in Keserwan and I am more interested in knowing how these 3 billion Liras were spent because the roads are worse than ever and nothing has really changed in the past year or so. Corruption is the real problem in Lebanon and fueling sectarianism through such reports will only strengthen those who are in charge now.

More importantly, and I think this is the real scandal here, MTV were complaining about the lack of spending in Batroun yet they missed out on the fact that Batroun got almost twice as much as Tripoli, the most populous and poorest city in the north. (Thank you Mustapha for noticing that!)

[YouTube]

Do We Need A Second Airport In Lebanon?

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airport

A friend sent me the above picture few days ago and asked me if it was feasible to make use of the Kleiat airport for commercial landings and take offs. I answered that renovating the Kleiat airport is not that costly and is feasible but there’s no political will to do so, which I won’t discuss on the blog because it’s useless.

Here are 5 reasons why we need a second airport in Lebanon:

1- Security:
How many times was Beirut’s airport closed? How many times did people block the road to the airport? How many incidents do we hear about in the airport and around it? The airport and its surrounding are not the safest and it only makes sense to have a second alternative.

2- Competition:
Assuming that a different management will be handling the Kleiat airport, we will have more flights and maybe more competitive prices. More importantly, a second airport might encourage Beirut Airport staff to better treat visitors because the reception and treatment are becoming worse every year. We don’t even have a proper taxi line outside the airport.

3- Convenience:
If I live anywhere between Jbeil and Halba, it’s much easier for me to land in Kleiat and drive home. Traffic is a serious problem and it’s easier sometimes to drive from Kleiat to Jounieh than land in Beirut and drive to Jounieh on a week day.

4- New job opportunities:
A new airport means new job opportunities inside and outside the airport. It will also boost tourism in the area and attract new investors and businesses.

5- Why Not?
Saying that Lebanon is too small doesn’t make any sense. We need a second and a third airport in my opinion. It’s more about common sense, convenience and efficiency than anything else.

kleaitt

Our current airport has serious problems that can no longer be overlooked. We keep hearing about corruption, passengers smuggling illegal goods, security concerns among other things. Recently, the European Union raised concerns on the safety regulations at the Beirut airport yet the government hasn’t done anything yet to fix things.

Let me know what you think.

Cash Flow 2 Review: Should Have Stopped At 1

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cash flow2 Source

To be honest, the title should have been “Should Have Stopped At 0” because the first Cash Flow movie is as bad as its sequel. I really wanted to say a couple of positive things about that movie, but the only thing I enjoyed were the bloopers at the end. Nevertheless, I decided not to share the harsh review that I had drafted but instead list some of the things that bothered me in this movie and that are being repeated in most Lebanese movies and series.

Comments on Cash Flow 2:
Actors:
– I didn’t like the guy playing the main character (Carlos Azar) because he doesn’t fit the role. Also, why is there so much focus on his looks? I felt like watching Fashion TV at some point.

– Hisham Haddad is not funny (he never was), I like Gabriel Yammine but he’s yelling the whole time for some reason, Teta Latifa jokes are no longer funny and the new girl is cute but she’s not making any sense in the movie. Oh and that guy playing Gabriel’s right hand is disturbing and not funny at all.

Plot:
– The plot is very confusing to say the least. Going back to Cash Flow 1, why would a random rich man give a guy who just saved him a credit card? Who gives away credit cards randomly? Moving on to Cash Flow 2, why would you give Mazen, a struggling young man who tends to spend more than he has and is heavily indebted and couldn’t control his credit card spending, control of your company? Isn’t it obvious that he doesn’t know how to manage his money?

– Assuming the movie is a comedy, how is killing a guy by mistake in one of the scenes funny? How is beating up someone funny? And why is Mazen (the main character) depressed and sad the whole time?

I won’t say more because it will ruin the movie for those who want to watch it, but you get the idea.

General Comments on most commercial Lebanese movies and series:

Some of these comments apply to Cash Flow but there are far worse movies and TV series out there. I am sure you can relate to most of these points:

– Actors are always dressed up, even when they are shopping at the supermarket.
– They all own sports cars, especially the girls, and Range Rovers.
– They only eat sushi.
– They all live in villas with a huge garden.
– They don’t know how to yell or get angry normally.
– They are always loud.
– They speak in a weird (Mexican-Syrian-Lebanese) language.
– They are trying too hard the whole time.
– The roads they drive on are perfectly paved.
– The pubs and night clubs they go to all have disco balls.
РThe jokes are clich̩ and not funny.
– George R. R. Martin couldn’t come up with a more complex plot.
– We still see people wearing sunglasses indoors.

All in all, The only reason why I enjoyed the bloopers was because the actors were being themselves and not faking it and that’s what they should be doing in the movie as well. Of course, this is my opinion and I’m sure a lot of people beg to differ.

Score: 2/5

Why is It so Hard To Approve The Civil Defense Volunteers Decree?

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civil

The government failed today to pass a decree that would have made Civil Defense volunteers full-time workers because they ran out of time! The volunteers have been protesting for almost 2 months now, they vowed to head to Syria to contribute to the humanitarian efforts and never come back, they set fire to their uniforms, they blocked vital roads today and they even threatened to stop responding to any emergency call across Lebanon, yet the government didn’t find any time to pass the decree!

Of course I’m against blocking roads because their fight is against rotten politicians not the people but I can understand their frustration and it’s about time this decree is passed and these volunteers are made full-time employees.

Just to give you an overview of the whole situation, the Civil Defense is the only firefighting and rescue force covering all Lebanese territories while Beirut is the only area that has its own fire unit. People who volunteer to work for the Civil Defense are usually promised to become full-timers within few years unlike the Red Cross where people don’t expect anything in return. This being said, some Civil Defense members have been volunteers for over 10 years and are still not getting paid any money, which is totally unacceptable!

A lot of them love what they are doing but need to provide for their families and don’t want to lose all these years of experience at this point. They should be made full-timers and more importantly given the proper training and equipment. If the government doesn’t want to pay volunteers from now on, let them make it clear for all those joining the Civil Defense.

All in all, let’s hope that the decree upgrading Civil Defense volunteers to full-timers will be approved during the next Cabinet session as promised by Mashnouq.

PS: Around 1500 civil defense volunteers are expected to become full-timers.

“Gods of Egypt” Movie Renamed to “Kings of Egypt” in Lebanon

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gods via Jad

Does anyone know why Gerard Butler’s latest movie “Gods of Egypt” was renamed to “Kings of Egypt” in Lebanon? I first thought it was a mistake but then I noticed the same poster is being used online. If someone got offended by the title, this is freaking ridiculous!

I wonder if they are going to use a voice over to censor every time they say “Gods” in the movie and replace it with “Kings”. Now that would be hilarious, sad but hilarious!

Update: The distribution company apparently decided to rename it to “Kings of Egypt” for the Middle East release to avoid any censorship from the authorities or outrage from religious figures.

kings